What We Do:
The Johns Hopkins Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is a 40-bed unit dedicated to providing state-of-the-art care to children and young adults with life-threatening acute illnesses and those recovering from major surgery. Critical medical illnesses include acute respiratory failure, complex congenital and acquired cardiac failure, renal and hepatic failure, shock, overwhelming infections and metabolic diseases, severe asthma, seizures, cardiac arrest, traumatic brain injury, and diabetic coma. Patients recovering from cardiac surgery, major neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, or ear nose and throat surgery also receive their postoperative care in the unit. The PICU is the Level I pediatric trauma center and burn unit for the care of critically children in the state of Maryland.
The Johns Hopkins Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is a leader in the field of early mobilization for critically ill children. The PICU Up! ™ Early Mobilization Program is an interdisciplinary initiative designed to improve PICU outcomes through a systematic approach to mobility and exercise, including developmentally appropriate play and activities for even the most critically ill children. Physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, and child life specialists in the Johns Hopkins PICU work together to foster a culture of mobility which improves a child’s sleep-wake cycles and decreases sedation needs and delirium. The ultimate goal is to improve both short and long-term neuropsychological outcomes for critically ill children and increase family engagement.
Early mobilization and delirium prevention are a core component of daily bedside rounds, and each child has an individually tailored PICU Up! © Plan. The PICU Up! ™ Early Mobilization Program is led by Beth Wieczorek, CRNP and Sapna Kudchadkar, MD. For more information, please go to https://www.johnshopkinssolutions.com/solution/picu-up/.
The Pediatric Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program provides ECMO services to infants and children with severe, intractable, cardiorespiratory failure. Our center built one of the first ECMO programs in the country and has been in existence since 1987. Over time, we developed a significant amount of collective experience and expertise as a multidisciplinary team to provide excellent care for our sickest patients.
Our ECMO program has been granted the Award of Excellence in Life Support continuously since 2010, by the international Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO). This award is recognizes improved patient outcomes that stem from advanced education of extracorporeal life support staff, and utilization of highest-standard equipment, policies and procedures.
The Johns Hopkins Pediatric ECMO Transport program was developed in 2010. We provide both ground and air-based transport of children already cannulated onto ECMO at other centers, and we have also created teams that can deploy to community hospitals to assist the local team in conducting the ECMO cannulation safely, then transport the patient to a referral center in stabilized condition.*
Staff members of our ECMO team serve as educators in regional, national and international ECMO courses that train personnel from hospitals that are starting new ECMO programs. Additionally, our faculty teach courses in ECMO management nationally and internationally and provide workshops at national conferences for the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care.
The Johns Hopkins PICU also take a proactive approach to emergent situations by performing ECMO/ECPR simulations. These multidisciplinary simulations occur every other month and have helped identify process and care provision improvements that ultimately support improved survival and neurological outcomes.
Our ECMO team plays an active role in single- as well as multi-center observational research studies that promote better understanding of the physiology of extracorporeal support and of outcomes following extracorporeal life support.